Consumer confusion and front of pack (FOP) nutritional labels

Sheena Leek, Isabelle Szmigin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This study aimed to identify the type of confusion that occurs when using different FOP label formats for comparing products. Thirty interviews incorporating a think aloud technique were conducted to identify differences in food constituents as represented by FOPs. A FOP format including traffic light colouring, calories and amount in grams, percentage GDA and interpretive text produced the most correct identifications of the healthiest food product. Ambiguity confusion and technical complexity occurred. The Government and other stakeholders need to provide educational material on the use and interpretation of FOP labelling and the constituents of a healthy diet to reduce ambiguity confusion and technical complexity. The paper identifies how effectively consumers use FOP labels and the types and sources of confusion consumers’ experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Customer Behaviour
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • confusion
  • ambiguity
  • overload
  • similarity
  • FOP labelling
  • think aloud interviews


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